On Wednesday the 21st day of August 2019 my phone was stolen in a public bus whilst in transit. Still in shock about the stolen phone, I resolved to go and retrieve my now lost sim card.
Wednesday the 28th day of August 2019, I walked into Airtel Office on Oba Akran Road just before Ikeja Under-Bridge with the sole aim and purpose of the retrieval of my lost sim card. I was asked to fill the “Lost or SimCard Re-Activation” Form, of which I did and I was asked to produce my old sim pack, of which I didn’t have because I bought the sim pack when now “Airtel” used to be “V-Mobile”. I told the attendant that I didn’t have it because I misplaced my old sim pack many years ago. I was then advised by the attendant to go the High Court of Ikeja and swear an affidavit stating that I am the sole owner of the phone number of which i intend to retrieve. I did all that I was asked to do, i got the affidavit, came back to the Airtel office and I was given a number to join the already long queue.
I joined the queue and patiently waited my turn to be attended to by one of the agents . After waiting for over an hour and fifteen minutes I was summoned in order to be attended to. I presented my filled out “Lost or Sim Card Re-Activation” Form, my sworn affidavit and also my National Identity Card. The agent in charge checked her computer the begin the process and she asked me to verbally confirm my phone number twice, which i did. She told me the phone number and the name on the sworn affidavit does not match the information that she is seeing presented before her on her computer and that the line in question belongs to one “Femi Adebayo”.
In utter disbelief and shock with what I just heard I asked the lady Ogini?, How come?, How is this possible?. She only told me sorry, that there is nothing that she can do about it. I left her seat in anger so that others on the queue can be attended to. I went to another male agent and laid my complaint and predicament to him. Same reply i got ” Sorry sir, there is nothing we can do to help you”.
With my time wasted and my 1200 naira wasted on one useless affidavit that was of no use for it’s intended aim, I walked out of that office with questions on my mind.
1) How on earth was it possible that a line that I had been using from year 2005 till this present day be registered in another person’s name ? A line that I did full biometrics with finger prints, facial recognition and my personal details when NCC first made it mandatory for Telecom operators in the country to register their subscribers on the network or risk line termination.
2) How many other subscribers have passed through the same ordeal I went through given the fact that Airtel now boasts proudly with banners and adverts everywhere with the slogan “10 million new subscribers on the Airtel 4G Network”
I know some of you are wondering, why all this noise over a 150 Naira Sim Card when I can just buy another fresh new sim card and register it? The whole essence of all this long story is to advice other subscribers like me out there to once in a while during your free time, go out there to your telecom operators and check of your phone numbers are still duly registered in your name with your full details intact.
This was an eye opener for me and a word they say is enough for the wise